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5 Things About Design and Me

By Char

Bloggy TagBrian Gardner, creator of some of the finest WordPress themes out there, has started a meme (also known as a game of Bloggy Tag) on 5 Things About Design and Me. He tagged me along with four of my blogging pals (Randa, Charity, David and Tara) to kick this off.

What is something that would surprise people about you and design?

Like Brian, when it comes to WordPress and blog design I am completely self-taught. Actually when it comes to web design, development, coding and such, I am self-taught on all of it (like Randa and Lisa). In 1996 when I first started my business I did a lot of document formatting and production using MS Word. Somewhere along the way the Web design bug bit me and I just kept at it. Over the years I have learned a lot through trial and error, using sites and designs I like as inspiration, and I have listened to the needs of my clients and tried to design the kind of site that works best for their individual needs.

If you could design one blogger’s site for free, who would it be?

One of the most enthusiastic bloggers I have met is Eliza (HomeMom3). If she ever gets ready to move to her own domain, I would love to help her really find a look that will show off her personality and content.

What blog platform do you prefer, and why?

WordPress is absolutely my number 1 choice as a blog platform. The developer community that is built around WordPress is amazing. If you just look at the sheer number of plugins available, free WordPress themes and number of blogs built on the platform it is just a testament to the power of WordPress. I have begun using WordPress as a way to build traditionally static sites that have a CMS component. Clients like it because they can maintain their own content with out having to know HTML. Brian’s new Revolution theme is going to give even more designers the tools needed to create great looking CMS-based sites in a fraction of the time.

Aside from your own, what is your favorite blog theme/template?

When it comes to themes that are well coded and easy to customize, Brian Gardner and WP Designer are my two favorite sources.

There are so many themes that are truly works of art, but my three favorites are: N Design Studio (aren’t the colors amazing?), Veerle,  and WebDesignerWall.

Do you have a blog-reading guilty pleasure?

Not really. I love starting my morning with a cup of coffee and Google Reader. I scroll through and look for articles I want to read, then I open each in a new tab to get the full reading experience. I have my reader organized into quite a few categories and it could possibly make the average person’s head spin. But, I have wide range of reading interests and I don’t want to miss anything! Some days I will check back in while surfing on my laptop while the family watches TV.

Who’s Next?

Well, Brian started the list off with 5, but I don’t think I have that much restraint. I would like to hear from the following designers:  Dawud, Lisa, Vivienne, Tony, Aaron, Mike, Mike R., and Mike S .



Wow, thanks for the mention and I may just want to take ya up on that. BTW- have I told ya I did do that? I just haven’t been able to figure all that stuff out yet. But it’s sitting their parked and collecting dust.


Well, once the kids all get settled in their back to school routing, let’s get that dust wiped off and build you a beautiful site.


I’m very familiar with Brian’s work. I think his Downtown Java and Tapestry are 2 of the best simple, smooth & cleam themes out there. Tapestry is good for the Tech Guy who wants to build a clean site with no fancy sports cars on the header.

I’ll be re-orging my site to a 2-column theme soon, and I’ll certainly look into it. also provides good free themes.


I’ve been playing with Codes since I’ve started blogging. I still can’t create my own personal design but I can tweak readily available templates to make it more personal.

Useful blog you’ve got here.



Thanks for the tag, Char, though I had to look at the URL to make sure you meant me, not someone else. I think you’re the first blogger who’s spelling my name as Vivienne. Not that I mind, just not always sure if it’s me unless it’s spelled Vivien :-)

btw, would you mind if I refer to some of your answers when answering those questions? A few of my answers are same as yours :-)


Totally with you on N Studio and Veerle’s sites – and isn’t the new WBW theme just stunning! :)


Jimson – I have used themes from Sadish before as well. Please keep us posted on your redesign.

BloggingMix – thanks for stopping in and the link.

Vivien – oh my – so sorry about the misspelling – I have been fighting with really slow internet and too many distractions – glad you were able to figure out I was talking about you. Feel free to defer to me as you feel fit.

Paul – WBW is fabulous! Thanks for stopping in.


I wish I had started off on WordPress too. Now that I have been on Blogger, I don’t want to lose my subscribers and links. I like the theme you use very much; it is easy on the eye and very usable.


tks for the links. Will be sure to check out the designs as you’ve mentioned. WordPress definitely rocks, which is why i recently wrote a post about the death of blog aggregator sites :p


Self taught, I love it! Power to the street smart designers! Great answers Char, thanks for taking the time to do that!


Brian – you are welcome. It was a nice exercise in self reflection.


I just came across your site and just wanted to compliment you on it. It is so fresh and informative! f


Thank you very much for link i just came here on your site there is many information what i am needed so stickly want to :)

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